Bedtime can be tricky for parents of adolescents. There are some rules of thumb that I always try to abide by (not unfailingly though), such as no TV, electronics, or sugar after dinner, that help our night time routine tremendously, but even so, I still sometimes find that my kids aren’t able to go to sleep right away. Here are some tricks I’ve come up with over the past few months in my quest to get my kids down smoothly and swiftly.
Tricks for Getting Your Kids to Sleep at Night
1. Three deep breaths: As soon as my kids get under the covers and the lights go off, we all do three deep cleansing breaths that we learned in Mommy in Me Yoga to calm down. Make sure they breathe in deeply for 6-8 seconds and then blow out for 10-12 seconds.
2. Reverse psychology: Do you remember the song “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins? If so, you know how well this song worked on the Banks kids. And if not, read the lyrics below. Well singing that song, or even just daring them to NOT fall asleep will send them to la la land quicker than you can say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
3. Yawn, a lot. If you’re singing, reading or telling your kids a story at bedtime, throw in some yawns every once in awhile. Yawns are contagious and they will make your kids sleepy!
4. Massages or back scratches. Have the lights off, and tell them that it has to be quiet in order for you to do your best back scratches. Gently rub or scratch their backs, and yawn a few times then too, and they will be out like a light. You can also use lotion with lavender which has relaxing properties. Oh and foot massages work wonders too.
5. Audio books. I got this idea from my girl, Nicole of RedLoutsMama.com. Her daughter’s faves are the Wizard of Oz narrated by Anne Hathaway and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You can get audio books on audible.com.
If all these steps fail, then tell them you’ll take away their most prized possession unless they are silent and are asleep in five minutes. That will work every time. Not that I’ve tried.
This morning, on our Ask the Moms segment on Fox 5, our panel discussed this very subject, as well as tips on how to handle disappointment in kids and when is the appropriate age for kids to start reading books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
And be sure to watch the segment to check out my Lighting Bolt manicure in honor of the Chargers!